What Would YOU Pay for a New, Sealed Box Sony ICF-2010?

Every radio enthusiast knows that the Sony ICF-2010/2001D was a desirable, high performing portable receiver throughout its long production history. Manufactured from 1985 through 2003, few receivers were as consistently high on DXers’ “must have” list as the ICF-2010.sony2010

These Sony portables still command high prices on the used market, but what would you pay for a brand new, still in the sealed factory carton ICF-2010? Well, someone just won the high bid on this new, unopened 2010 for the princely sum of $982.00 USD plus shipping:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-ICF-2010-RECEIVER-BRAND-NEW-STILL-IN-FACTORY-SEALED-BOX-/111948598883

What’s your opinion? Outrageous, foolhardy purchase or a savvy investment for the future? Please comment below with your thoughts.

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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24 thoughts on “What Would YOU Pay for a New, Sealed Box Sony ICF-2010?

  1. Julian

    For some reason internet gremlins have been feasting on SWL postings so I haven’t been receiving them until this morning I received one about this radio… so what follows is a PS to my previous posting

    The Sony ICF SW 2001D or 2010 as it was known in North America is probably the best portable general coverage SWL receiver so far.

    I own both the Tecsun 660 and 880 and I like them both very much indeed, especially the 880’s 10hz SSB tuning steps…

    But in my experience of SWL in a highly urban environment the Sony 2001D / 2010 is still as good or better than they are at picking out SW signals and also for resolving difficult to receive distant AM signals…. I’m introducing my 10 year old son to SWL and one early August evening he resolved an AM broadcast at about 679khz from The Philippines (we live in Hong Kong) he did this using a Tecsun AN-100 AM loop antenna plugged into the 2001D / 2010’s AM antenna socket, rotating the loop to null out stronger local broadcasters and tuning the loop to obtain the best available reception of the Philippine broadcaster… at a guess that broadcaster is from Manila, about 1130km / or around 702 miles away…

    There were 30 bids on this Sony from 11 separate bidders, so it was a popular radio with the bidders…
    Who are we to judge the people who wanted to buy it?
    Willing seller + willing buyer = price

    A word about eBay and PayPal….
    Neither is perfect. But if a dispute is flagged to eBay they usually do step in to attempt to resolve it and if you pay by PayPal you will get a refund for whatever you paid… PayPal has a monopoly on eBay for payments – eBay used to own PayPal and they continue to operate hand-in-glove… PayPal provides bank like services but avoids the regulatory supervision and governance of a bank….

    Reply
  2. Frank

    I can sympathize with the buyer, even if I suspect it was an enthusiastic collector rather than an outdoor DXer. This Sony was my childhood dream radio 25 years ago, and only five years ago when I got back into the hobby after ten years break I got one for myself, in top shape, but for a “normal” ebay price ~ about a fourth of these $982, working great and wonderfully but the “limited one” (ending at 26.100 khz) . Two years ago I was lucky to get one that was a little more beaten up with the “energy 3” problem every now and then and with no battery cover but this is the one I take outside and with this problem being fixed and a 3D printer of a hobby friend in my vicinity having printed a fitting battery cover, it is technically in great shape and I have had many “firsts” with it, more than with the Degens and Tecsuns.

    Reply
  3. Julian Stargardt

    As someone wrote poetically:
    ‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.’
    or more prosaically:
    Willing Buyer + Willing Seller = Price
    Who are we to judge what anything is worth to someone else?

    I wouldn’t pay that BUT I have a lot of empathy with Mark Fahey’s comments… I used one of these at remote areas… it brought in the BBC World Service (as it was then) loud and clear on SW… and I could search the airwaves for other SW broadcasters… kept me connected to the world in the pre-internet age.

    For all its foibles It’s still a fine radio for broadcast listening.
    I hear that Kiwa do excellent upgrades that cure most or all of the issues with this receiver… see:
    http://www.kiwa.com/sony.html

    Reply
  4. Tudor Vedeanu

    I guess a collector would pay insane amounts of money just to get what he/she wants.

    However, a regular SWL would be insane to spend so much on a radio which nowadays is outperformed by $80-$150 Chinese radios. I have a 2010, it’s a nice radio, but it’s old and the best Tecsun and Degen models are smaller, cheaper and offer the same or better performance.

    Reply
  5. Paul Walker

    I had a sony 2010.. the tecsun pl880 runs circles around the 2010 both audio and overall reception wish

    Reply
  6. Robert Thompson

    I’ll pass on that radio and it’s ungodly high price tag. I’m sticking with my Grundig S350 which I bought years ago at Brookstone for the affordable price of $99 plus tax.

    Reply
  7. Joe

    Sorry, no – the seller is hoping to cash in on some misplaced nostalgia someone might have: someone with more dollars than sense. That radio wasn’t worth half that back in the day, and it certainly isn’t worth it now.

    Reply
  8. Mark Fahey

    No kidding – if i had known about this eBay auction i would have bid to win! The reason being i would be bidding for a mint copy of the receiver that i dragged around Central & South Asia for a decade. I spent many a sollitary night in Kasmir, Peshawar, Dushanbe, Islamabad etc with no connection to english language news apart from my Sony ICF-2010. It was my lifeline and friend! I think when you see these high prices paid on eBay for a receiver such as this their is an emotonial connection to the model, the buyer isnt actually just wanting to buy a receiver to DX on!

    A few years ago I purchased a factory sealed box containing an FRG-7. It is my pride and joy and just looking at it brings back so many memories of my teenage years. I use it at least once a week to listen to AIR before dawn as i drink my first cup of cofffee – but actually i dont think i have spun the tuning knob from the Bangalore frequency that blasts in hear to Sydney each morning. When i actually want to truely tune around I use my Excalibur. If i had won the Sony auction, the machine would have been used the same way as my FRG-7, just to remember past adventures!

    Reply
    1. Monti

      That’s a nice back story Mark and I think if I shared that sort of emotional connection I’d probably want to buy it too. Hope you manage to find one for a nice price one day mate. I think a weekly cup of coffee with AIR coming in to rekindle such memories is something I’d like to see happen for you if only because I enjoyed your post.

      Reply
    2. Tevfik

      Exactly I agree You assess the value of this radio when you are in remote places out of civiliasation
      You dont need tv satalite eq. electric
      I used in Russia my 2001D and my only connection with world . You value it when your electric cut off
      Best from istanbul

      Reply
  9. Rob

    Guess I’m just a skeptic, but why would a new and sealed ICF-2010 still actually exist? Who would buy such a great radio and never use it? It’s likely a gently used product in the original carton, and certainly not worth anywhere close to $982. I hope the buyer enjoys it though, and for a long time to come.

    Reply
  10. Gary

    Hopefully it still works. I have an ICF-2010 that I bought 30 years ago, and it’s still working. They seem to be well built, other than the lack of static protection on the antenna input.

    Reply
  11. Monti Lancaster

    That’s a lot of greenbacks for an admittedly lovely unit. My thoughts tho, if it’s a receiver purchased for practical use, for that money one could get two new units who’s combination of strengths could easily match or even outperform the 2010. A second hand desktop receiver would fall into this price range also.
    If buying as a collectible………. We have to think about the future of the hobby with stations closing down weekly. How many new enthusiasts will this hobby pick up in the next 10 years due to this unfortunate truth and how much will this likely fall in numbers affect the collectibility of such units?
    I think I’d probably want to spend my money on a nice example of an old 40’s valve unit which would look bloody lovely and would be a nice way to sit down with a pint listening to the cricket on the Medium Wave band.

    Reply
  12. Ken

    $982 is much too high for that. Especially when there is a new in box R-1000 that looks like it will sell for $300-$350.

    The Seller doesn’t set the rate…..where you live is picked off by eBay. When I viewed the ICF-2010 it showed rates to Canada which is correct. All you need to do is change the postal destination.

    In all the years I have been on eBay and the hundreds of deals I have done I have had 1 dispute which was solved wonderfully by eBay.

    Reply
    1. Monti Lancaster

      I once paid for a Sony and the seller turned out to be fraudulent. PayPal refunded me within two or three days of me notifying them.
      That has been my only bad deal with eBay so I have no complaints or fears regarding future purchases.
      Let’s not forget too the many great purchases I have made on eBay.
      I too consider it a safe option.

      Reply
  13. Mick

    Seller in USA gives postage rate for UK ? I would never buy from ebay, have been told many times about people ending up in dispute with ebay or paypal, that said many do use it.

    Reply
    1. VegasDude

      I have over 400 eBay transactions.. buying, and selling… numerous buys from UK, etc.. Never have had any disputes… had a badly packed item destroyed being sent to me, once.. simply notified eBay.. BOOM. done deal.. Refund

      Reply
  14. Richard Cuff

    Since I am not into collectibles, I personally can’t see paying such a high price. But if the purchaser will derive that amount of joy from the radio, I cannot begrudge their decision.

    Reply

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